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Pinduoduo, one of the largest agricultural e-commerce platforms, was named the sole recipient of the 2022 Innovation Award from the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations

image1FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu presenting the FAO Innovation Award to Pinduoduo. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The annual award recognises innovation that changes how food is produced, processed, traded, and consumed, and best practices that build more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agrifood systems. The winner must strengthen the link between farmers and consumers and demonstrate impact on more than one level of the supply chain.

According to the FAO award citation, Pinduoduo was playing a role in bridging the gap between academic research and the real-world application of agricultural technology. The innovative and inclusive solutions offered by the platform enabled smallholder farmers to increase their incomes and invest in more productive and environmentally sustainable practices.

Embracing digitalisation, as viewed by Pinduoduo is the key to unlocking the full value of agriculture, which lags behind other industries in terms of participation in the digital economy.

To deepen digital inclusion in agriculture, the company has focused on creating opportunities for young people to take part in agriculture. This includes training and encouraging new farmers to set up their own online businesses, and providing a launchpad for young researchers through its Smart Agriculture Competition to develop agritech solutions to help smallholder farmers.

To date, more than 126,000 new farmers born after 1995 have set up businesses on Pinduoduo. Participants in the annual Smart Agriculture Competition, in which FAO is involved as a technical advisor, have gone on to implement their agritech solutions in major food-production regions.

Accepting the award on behalf of Pinduoduo in Rome, XinYi Lim, executive director of Sustainability and Agricultural Impact at Pinduoduo, said  the group was honoured to receive the innovation award for its Tech for Agri approach to promoting digitalisation in agriculture and digital inclusion.

“The FAO’s 2022 Innovation award to Pinduoduo is an important affirmation that a holistic approach to creating opportunities for young people in agriculture and developing more cost-effective agritech solutions for smallholder farmers makes a difference in promoting a more sustainable future for agriculture,” Lim said.

“Innovation is the central driving force to transform agrifood systems and the private sector is an important contributor to innovation and extension in the agrifood sector along the entire value chain,” said Qu Dongyu, the FAO director-general adding, “Pinduoduo is playing a leading role in stepping out of the traditional model and provides a platform to connect smallholder farmers with markets, to improve the 4 Betters – Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment, and a Better Life for All - in rural areas.”